Writing college application essays can be an intimidating task for many rising high school seniors. On top of the anxiety about getting into the schools of their choice, application essays require an approach to writing that is a complete 180 from the academic essays students are typically asked to write throughout high school.
In contrast to the analytical, five paragraph essays they’ve been taught to write, application essay prompts ask students to dive into the deeply personal and can be structured in a variety of ways. There are many elements of application essays that will be familiar to your child, such as writing an introductory hook, but there are many aspects of the writing style that will push your student to craft their words in ways they’ve never experimented with before.
Here are some of our suggestions to help prime your child to write high caliber application essays that will help increase their chances of getting into the school of their dreams!
- Start by helping your child analyze the structure, strengths, and weaknesses of sample application essays. Being exposed to examples helps students understand the tone of an application essay and also get ideas for the structures, and content that can be incorporated. Here are some application essays to start with.
- Create a timeline and encourage your child to draft their application essays before the school year starts. Senior year is a hectic time and it’s best to start writing during the spare time that summer affords. Having time to do multiple rewrites and revisions will ensure that your child submits their best possible work.
- Set aside time for your student to get an extra set of eyes on their writing (aside from yours). There is so much parental involvement necessary in the application process (scheduling college tours, personal information for the application itself, and the FAFSA, for example) and students benefit from having someone else involved. Having another family member or a skilled college admissions tutor help them in the writing process will give you a much needed break from your child’s application process and will give your child valuable feedback on their writing. If you’re looking for an admissions tutoring, we offer that at La Jolla Learning!